|By Martin Newell:
Phil Munro scrabbles through a pile of CDs, unsure of which track to play The Chronicle first. His band the Mined, came together at the beginning of 2004 although, strictly speaking, it was to re-form rather to form.
In the early 80s, Phil on keyboards and his brother Steve on guitar and vocals were learning their licks in a series of local bands. Both of the Brightlingsea youngsters, played local venues such as Colchester ‘s Ollie Twist – a rather different prospect then to the one which exists now. The most successful of their embryonic outfits during this period was Strangequarters; whom some gig-goers from those times may remember.
The band were beginning to make some headway, when as so often happens: "We were playing, performing and writing, and then in, the mid-80s we all went our separate ways, due to families – kids, things like that." Phil says.
"However, my brother Steve – he kept writing, and then in 2003, he was at the Brightlingsea Music Festival on the acoustic stage. He did a set there, and we all came to see Phil, who moved to Wivenhoe some years ago, says: " He did okay – he had huge problems with being able to hear himself, but we thought he’d done marvellously and we decided to re-form."
The other members of the Mined, Sean O’Dell on guitar, Dave Austin on bass and Andy Smith on drums, either exhumed their old instruments, – or in Phil and Andy’s cases, actually had to re-equip themselves completely.
The band’s style – which Phil describes as having an early 80s feel – to The Chronicle’s wellseasoned ears, actually sounds more like late 60s underground garage music. The Mined‘s rough demos, made in-situ during rehearsals are pop-lacedwith-psychedelia.
They have so far only done one gig since their reformation. This event was a festival in St Osyth, late in the summer and served as a warm-up for a band who are only beginning to find their feet again, after an extended collective paternity-leave.
Phil however, says that the Mined’s first priority is to begin recording their music in order to show promoters and later on, record companies, what the band is actually made of.
They are now eagerly awaiting delivery of the digital 16track recorder, which will serve as their studio whilst they repackage themselves for a music world whose tastes have changed substantially during
their long hiatus. While Phil admits that the band aren’t too interested in jumping around onstage, they do have lighting effects, an oil wheel, and screen displays with film footage which will serve as visual distractions while they perform their set.
One thing which struck The Chronicle was the high standard of the Mined’s lyrics – an unusual and original feature in today’s fast-moving go-ahead pop world – and one which may well stand them in good stead when their recordings are completed next year, and the public get a chance to hear the band for themselves.
from The Brightlingsea and Wivenhoe Chronicle , December 2005